Taylor Swift’s new music video “ME!” has racked up tens of millions of views within hours of its premiere.
The video, Swift’s first single since the November 2017 release of her sixth studio album, Reputation, launched at midnight ET on Friday, April 26 after a 13-day countdown that kept Swifties around the world on pins and needles, and they flocked to YouTube to watch the beginning of a new chapter.
A collaboration with Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco, the video has already garnered more than 78 million views within the time span of just eight hours. For comparison, her single "Look What You Made Me Do" garnered 28 million views in a 24-hour time period, at the time breaking Adele’s record for most YouTube views garnered in a 24-hour period on a music video.
That number has since been surpassed by K-pop band BTS, whose song “Idol” raked in 45 million views within 24 hours.
Swift had first teased the launch of new music in October, when she appeared onstage at the American Music Awards to accept the award for Best Pop/Rock Album.
“I always look at albums as chapters in my life," she said. "And I'm so—to the fans, I'm so happy that you like this one. I'm so happy that this means that you like this one. But I have to be really honest with you about something: I'm even more excited about the next chapter."
In the weeks and months that followed, the singer dropped more clues through a series of cryptic photos on Instagram teasing an aesthetic vastly different from the rough and hard themes of Reputation.
After commissioning a mural in The Gulch in Nashville, where she showed up and took pictures with fans Thursday afternoon, Swift confirmed that she would be releasing a new single when speaking with Robin Roberts during the NFL Draft.
“It's going to be a new song and music video," she shared. "The song is called "ME!" and it's featuring Brendon Urie of Panic! at the Disco."
“ME! is a song about embracing your individuality and really celebrating it, and owning it," she added. "I think that with a pop song, we have the ability to get a melody stuck in people’s heads, and I want it to be one that makes them feel better about themselves."
With 16 more hours to go before the single hits the 24-hour mark and with the views continuing to climb, it is possible that the feel-good song could land yet another record for Swift.